KENNEBUNK – The owners of Pilot House and the Spirit of Massachusetts in Lower Village are proposing a contract zone that would allow them to demolish and replace the restaurant and bring the vessel out of the water, onto the property for dining.

Kyick Holdings, LLC, owned by siblings Kylie and Nick Raymond, are proposing to demolish and rebuild the Pilot House restaurant and bring the Spirit of Massachusetts ashore. They say the proposal would provide better traffic flow and safety. The owners are applying for a contract zone, which could go to voters June 14. Tammy Wells photo

Kylie Raymond and her brother, Nicholas Raymond, of Kyick Holdings, LLC, made the proposal to the Kennebunk Planning Board on Feb. 28 and are tentatively scheduled to return for a second meeting on March 14. The board held a site-walk on March 5.

The proposal reconfigures the Pilot House restaurant on the lot at 2-4 Harbor Lane and brings the Spirit of Massachusetts off its mooring in the Kennebunk River and into a steel cradle on the property.

The new Pilot House would be built to flood plain standards and shifted on the site to accommodate better access and flow to the parking area, said Kennebunk Planner Brittany Howard, in a memo to the board. Moving the Spirit of Massachusetts would mean a reconfiguration of parking spaces.

The proposal meets some, but not all of the setback requirements, hence the contract zone request. The ordinance requires a 10-foot side yard, 20-foot rear yard and 25-foot riverfront setbacks. The contract proposal calls for five-foot rear and side yard requirements and no riverfront setback.

Under the ordinance, a maximum 70 percent lot coverage is allowed in the Lower Village Business District. The contract proposes 30 percent, according to Howard’s calculations. The minimum net lot area, lot width, front yard setbacks, and height are within the ordinance.


Kylie Raymond said the new plan should improve safety and traffic flow, and that the dining capacity will not change, but will be reconfigured. The Spirit of Massachusetts now seats 100 people in the water, but would serve 40 on land, she said, with the remaining seats moved to a second story in a new Pilot House building.

Kyick Holdings attorney Paul Driscoll said the proposal will improve traffic flow for parking, better accommodate off-season bus traffic, and will include installation of public bathrooms accessible from outside the Pilot House.

“I believe it will provide better access for emergency vehicles and doesn’t change any aspect of the existing use,” said Driscoll.

Planning board member Robert Metcalf said typically, the board receives more detailed information – almost a fully engineered plan – when considering a contract zone.

“It’s tough for me to look at this. I understand the physical aspects, the bathrooms, (but) beyond that there are still some things I grapple with,” said Metcalf.

Driscoll said that the owners have spoken with an engineering firm. “If we go to public hearing, we know we have to submit that (information),” he said.


Board member Richard Smith said he was a little concerned about moving closer to the river and said assumed that means the Spirit of Massachusetts. “I understand you have a drainage system,” he said.

Kyick Holdings has pledged to install a Bio-Clean catch basin in the parking lot.

Kylie Raymond pointed out that the Spirit of Massachusetts is currently moored in the Kennebunk River. Moving it ashore should reduce the river impact, she said.

“We’re already doing (what is) proposed,” said Kylie Raymond, noting the restaurants, marina and so on. “We just want to do it better.”

Board member Janice Vance said she is familiar with the site. “I think it makes a lot of sense,” she said, but noted the parking lot tends to flood at times.

Kylie Raymond said when rebuilt, the restaurant would be two feet above flood zone.

She said the reconfigured placement of the property would allow the marina to haul larger boats. Nick Raymond noted that some fishing vessels have to go to Portland or south to Massachusetts.

The property has contained a restaurant for many years, has a marina, and whale watch and scenic boat tours operate from the location, according to the submittal.

The planning board’s next step would be to review the material at the tentatively set meeting, schedule a public hearing and then vote whether to recommend the contract zone to the select board, which also schedules a public hearing. The applicant is looking to have the required town-wide vote on the matter on the June 14 ballot.

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